Jezik / Language:
28 May 2015

Basic Was On Battlefield During Alleged Crimes, Witnesses Say

Dzenana Sivac BIRN BiH Zenica
A defense witness testifying at the Eniz Basic trial said Basic was on the battlefield during the spring of 1993.

Basic, a former member of the Bosnian Army, has been charged with abducting civilians from a house in the village of Vardiste in April 1993 without authorization. The civilians’ charred bodies were found a few days later.

Sejad Basic, the defendant’s brother, told the cantonal court of Zenica that the entire family was concerned about Eniz Basic in April 1993. At the time, Eniz Basic was on the battlefield as a member of the police forces and his family didn’t know whether he was alive.

“I stand by my words when I say that Eniz wouldn’t hurt anybody and that our neighbours are surprised that he’s been indicted in this case,” Basic said.

During cross-examination Basic was presented with a statement he gave during the investigation phase of the case. In the statement, he’d said he wasn’t sure if the defendant had brought captives to a check-point at the Kaldrma crossroads on April 19, 1993. He’d said that he came back half an hour later and asked why the captives were taken away.

Basic said the statement he gave to the prosecution during the investigation was incorrect. He said those weren’t his words - he said didn’t know what he’d signed, because he didn’t read the statement.

Basic was then asked whether his brother had brought Luka Sestan and Mirko Letic to the checkpoint.

“I stand by my words when I say no,” Basic said.

Testifying for the defense, Raif Basic said he was the defendant’s close relative and had known him his whole life. He said he was convinced he would have never committed the crime he’s been charged with.

Raif Basic said the defendant was a reserve policeman, and as such couldn’t have been engaged in activities in Vardiste.

Raif Basic said there were no checkpoints in the area specified from April 18 to 20, 1993, and said he didn’t witness or hear that prisoners had been brought there. He said he didn’t see the defendant for approximately a month during that period of time.

The trial will continue on June 16.

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